Bell Digest v931123p2

From: RuneQuest-Request@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RQ Digest Maintainer)
To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (Daily automated RQ-Digest)
Reply-To: RuneQuest@Glorantha.Holland.Sun.COM (RuneQuest Daily)
Subject: RuneQuest Daily, Tue, 23 Nov 1993, part 2
Precedence: junk


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Mountains, the universe, and everything
Date: 22 Nov 93 18:09:35 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2395


Steve Gilham in X-RQ-ID: 2383

>Height of Wintertop

>I'd got the impression that the 4000' figure was the *base* of 
>Wintertop, i.e. the height of the col of (the real) Dragon Pass.  
>Or maybe I was just trying to rationalise the two figures 
>together.  Certainly Orlanth's Mother deserves to be more 
>impressive than the little hills dotting the British Isles.

Yep, this goes hand in hand with the height of 5000 ft for most of 
Balazar south of the Elf Sea (which must be at approx. 4800 ft).

Mark Sullivan in X-RQ-ID: 2390

>While poring over my recently purchased copy of River of Cradles I noticed
>on the Common Knowledge section of the RoC map -

>:The Block
>:This giant rectilinear block of rock, 500m on a side and 2km tall...

>This would seem not to overshadow earthly mountains, but it still ought to
>be seen from pretty far off. 

>If it is two kilometers tall it doesn't compare with Wintertop's 12
>(please say it's a typo) kilometers [from p61 of Genertela Book, GoG]. I
>mean just how high *is* the atmosphere?  That there middle air must go up
>pretty damn high or those Shakers are breathing with oxygen tanks. 

The Middle Air reaches up to where the Red Moon currently rests - 
that's how the rivalry between Orlanth and the Red Goddess _really_ 
started, Castle Blue was just a prelude.

How high is the sky? I'd assume that it has perfect spherical shape 
(the solars being possessed with symmetry, and there's notthing more 
symmetric than a sphere) stretching over the earth and sea of 
Glorantha. At the gates of Dusk and Dawn it has its axis for the 
north-south movement during the year; these seem to lie on the far side 
of Sramak's river (which must be circular on the outside, to fit into 
the sky, and rectangular on the inside, where Gloranthan earth begins).

It would be nice to think of the sky as the upper half of a sphere, and 
the realms of darkness (i.e. hell, or wonderhome in trollish legends) 
is the lower half. There must be two concentrical spheres, BTW, because 
the upper world lies outside the inner sphere, but hardly borders 
directly on the void (not my idea of a paradise, at least).

(This model would "prove" that the Lunar Rune comprises the wholeness 
of the (outer) world. Any Irrippi Ontor takers?)

All of the upper sphere is filled with air, since Umath has filled the 
space between his parents. It must be coldest a bit less than half way 
between earth and sky, between source and reflection of the heat (sky).
(We know that on Glorantha it gets colder the higher one moves up the 
mountains, but hotter the close one gets to the sky - see southern 

So the height of Pole Star above earth level must be about half way 
between the Gates of Dusk and Dawn. The way the Blue Moon travels in 
one cycle would be twice this radius for the fall, plus Pi times this 
radius for the climb along the sphere. (The climbing time might be 
dependent on how close to the Blue Moon Plateau the moon rises - the 
closer the faster.)

>Now if the Block casts a shadow that blocks the Red Moon's glow it would
>seem that the umbra would lie across the Devil's Marsh.  What can we
>deduce, if anything, from this?  Maybe Lunar priests are no more likely
>than anyone else to want to visit the Marsh?

This brings me to a heretical (to whom?) idea:

In the description of the Silver Shadow Sultanate/Satrapy it is 
mentioned that the region basks in the silver shine. Does this mean 
that tne Red Moon is translucent, and focusses the stars' light onto 
the crater, after filtering out the red glow it sends out?

Is this light pressure the force htat keeps that ole chunk of rock up?

And how high is the Crater, how high above it is the moon?

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Joerg Baumgartner)
Subject: Nomads abroad
Date: 22 Nov 93 18:10:17 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2396

Nomads Abroad
MOB in X-RQ-ID: 2386

>>1. How hated _are_ horses? (Would a band of Praxians attack someone just
>>because he rode a horse?)

>Yes!  (Unless there's more of you than them, you're under the walls of
>Pavis, or whatever)

They'd do this to anyone not riding a mule, a zebra, or one of their 
own mounts, if the odds are good, you mean? (To the above mentioned 
they'd talk first, attack then...)

>>2. If Praxians see someone riding their herd animal, do they automatically
>>assume it was stolen?

>The Bison Tribe believe that all bison in the world belong to them as
>a natural right, which gives them free reign to take bison from anyone.
>Of course, just like the above question, it all depends on numbers and
>the situation.  A band of bison riders might ask for a "present" in
>return for letting you use one of their bison, if they are otherwise
>well-disposed to you.

Would be interesting to have one of those bison-riding Lunar nobles 
Sandy mentions visit Prax...

>>4. What keeps Praxians in Prax? Is it the Guardian Hills? (The Six Sisters,
>>seen in Troll Realms, are supposed to contain wards set up by the
>>Grazers... But they don't seem to have stopped Argrath's allies, or the
>>raids on Tarsh during the interregnum.) Is it the inhabitants? I imagine
>>that Sartar is more fertile and full of good grazing, and the Praxians
>>would want to use it.

>The Praxian plains and the wastes (once you get past Vulture's Country)
>contain sufficient grazing for the tribes.  There would be two reasons
>why the Praxians don't move into Sartar/Dragon Pass.  First, the terrain
>and climate does not suit their nomadic way of life, and second, it's better
>just to ride in and out of place on periodic raids, taking stuff you
>can't get in Prax (ie. metals, luxury goods) than trying to take over
>the place permanently.  Jaldon Toothmaker occasionally appears to lead the
>Praxians in to Dragon Pass on great raids, but they are not mass migrations.
>A mass migration might take place if something happens to the nomads in
>their homeland (just like the various barbarian movements in
>the dark ages), but the nomads seem more likely to move east into the
>unpopulated Wastes than try to crack the tough nut that is Sartar.

Traditionalism keeps most in Prax. Those not so tradition bound do not 
hestitate to settle elsewhere, as did a lot of Praxians in Peloria 
after the Gbaji-Wars. These were land grants, though, issued by Arkat. 
If anyone is ging to grant a Praxian tribe lordship over some native 
farmer folk, I'd bet that about 80% of that tribe would accept - this 
is not different from how they trade the oasis folk, only the oasises 
(sp?) are bigger, and wealthier.

>Sandy Petersen in X-RQ-ID: 2326
>> I know for a fact that there is at least one Lunar dynasty of nobles  
>> who traditionally train bisons to ride. However, they're good Lunars,  
>> and only the Irrippi Ontor sages in town know why that dynasty has  
>> that custom. I'm sure there are other traces of such activity. 

>Which town/city?

And does anybody have information about more Lunar settlements than 
those shown in Genertela Book? Dara Happa must be full of smaller 
cities, and Peloria will have its share, too.

Mark Sullivan in X-RQ-ID: 2388
>> I reiterate my question of a few days ago: does anyone
>> know how living near (rich, fertile) Peloria has changed
>> the Sable Tribe of the Hungry Plateau? Especially since
>> they became rulers of Kostaddi and took over the City of
>> Two Towers.

>Maybe they have become dichotomous.  Wealthy, decadent rulers
>inundated with the luxuries of empire ruling from the City
>of Two Towers while they maintain a core of tough, hardened
>warrior/herders on top of the Hungry Plateau.  The HPers serve
>as soldiers acquiring wages to send home (from which the ruling
>nobility takes a healthy cut, oops just taxes).  The Kostaddi
>rulers may use the HPers as a sort of Praetorian guard (actually
>maybe more of a Varangian guard) to maintain their control of
>the lowland farmland.

>The rulers control the HPers through two means:
>1) by the use of bribes, I mean gifts, to the HP clan chiefs
>consisting of the usual gold, jewelry, et al along with
>arms, armor, and foodstuffs.
>2) by controlling the strategic location of Two Towers they
>have a lock on trade and can shut off the transport of food
>which the HPers population has grown to need.

>All this is merely speculation on my part and has no imprimature.

Some more speculation:
The nobility keeps its young people "different" from the other 
courtiers by sending them to their wild cousins on the Hungry Plateau 
for initiation, say for at least three years. Likewise the old and 
frail will be sent to Two Towers City to bolster the mass of courtiers. 
Thus, Kostaddi Sultanate will have a total population of Sable folk 
somewhere in the 60,000, Hungry Plateau included. Of course there will 
be traditionalist clans who despise their city-dewlling kin, and vice 
versa, similar to the Spanish and north-African Moors.

The statement that the Hungry Plateau sables moved there in the Dawn 
Age makes them mercenaries of the Theyalan First Council, participating 
in the Battle of Argentium Thri'ile (Dorastor p. 7: "Instrumental in 
the battle were the Praxian animal riders, whose leaders received 
grants of land in Peloria and began several dynasties of Pelorian 
animal-riders."), and maybe a second wave in the wake of Arkat's human 
allies who scoured Peloria while the hero and his troll allies scorched 
Aggar, Talastar and Dorastor (Vorwaha Bisonlord, Dorastor p.13). This 
would make most "native" Pelorian nobility Praxian in descent, I'd 
suppose - Duke Raus has just gone back to the roots. Any takers?

Lately I have also reread the information on the horse nomads of Pent, 
who can be found elsewhere, too - the Char-un are an undisputed case, 
the Second Age Golden Horse tribe in Prax, too, but their descendants 
are a bit dubious - I believe that we find them in three places: In 
Prax the Zebra riders stem from this tribe (see Pavis Box for their 
history); in Beast Valley the Centaurs seem to be Delecti's 
transmutation of parts of this tribe, made a real race by divine 
intervention through Ironhoof, and a gift from the dragons; and the 
Grazelander tribes tell a tale how they descend from the pain centaurs, 
remade into their former forms (They might as well be Traditionalist 
Pentian horse riders who moved in and shrewdly made up this story to be 
allowed to go where no humans were allowed to go).

Any evidence against these speculations?

--  Joerg Baumgartner


From: (Geoff Gunner)
Subject: Moon and Shadow
Message-ID: <>
Date: 22 Nov 93 19:32:43 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2397

Who says that the light of the moon has to be visible to the Lunar magician ?
Do they loose their Rune Magic when indoors ?  Under a tree ?  Or even wearing
a big, floppy cape ?  (' Arrg, it's a Naked Lunar Priest, Run away before he
casts a spell !').

Wyrms - I'd have put them at a stage PAST dragonewts; perhaps those dragonewts
who have left the Wheel but still have some earthly ties to work off ?
Sort of a 'practice dragon' stage.

About RQ material - is there any copyright law on collecting stuff to be
published electronically ?  My thought were - nominate a few people / sites
to collect info on certain regions, to edit the stuff to minimum waffle.
Submit to peer review, add to general archive.  I know - sounds too centralised
and orderly.  But think of all the RQ material published out there, that are
lost / buried for ever.  Ideas ?



From: 100270.337@CompuServe.COM (Nick Brooke)
Subject: I don't know anything about *that*, but...
Message-ID: <931122195621_100270.337_BHB78-1@CompuServe.COM>
Date: 22 Nov 93 19:56:21 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2398

Newton wrote:

> Boggles: a Boggle is a disorder spirit. Beyond that all I know is
> (others') apparently unofficial speculations. There apparently is a
> strong resemblance to Toon characters.

I don't know anything about Toon. But Boggles are a Disorderly race, not 
"just" spirits (though, given their basic nature, they probably *can* be 
spirits -- or anything else -- from time to time). There's a Castle of 
Boggles on top of the Plateau of Statues, but I can't honestly recommend 
the decor or cuisine. There's a myth of the Boggles in WF#5 (Celestial 
Court myths), which ought to be in Wyrms Footprints when that happens, and 
some stuff about them in the Prosopaedia (under Ratslaff, I think). They 
mostly work for Uleria, these days, but obviously wouldn't be committed to 

> I would like to know more about Tada (beyond the info published in
> Griffin Mtn). Also, how big is his tumulus?

I don't know anything about the tumulus' height, though being the biggest 
thing on a basically flat plain can't be all that difficult. As is the case 
with Wintertop, the apparent height of the "mountain" is enhanced by the 
lack of surrounding peaks.

Tada was a son or follower of Genert (I imagine), and was the leader of the 
Tada-Shi, first human inhabitants of Prax in the Golden Age. In modern 
(WB&RM/DP) terms he would be rated as a Superhero. Among his Godtime feats, 
he slew and skinned Basmol and helped hide Eiritha from Death

> Artifacts of Tada's are carried around by Praxian shamans and priests;
> what's the relationship?

Tada was chopped apart into lots of pieces in the Darkness: some of these, 
called the Grisly Portions, are powerful mojo on the Plains of Prax, and 
turned up in Nomad Gods: the Mask, Cudgel, and Sandals spring to mind.

NB: his name is pronounced "ta-DAAA!", like the vocal accompaniment to a 
stage magician's drum-roll. And "Waha" is a war-whoop, "WAAAAAA-ha!". For 
those who needed to know...

> About Jaldon Toothmaker:  He was born in a bison rider's tent, accord-
> ing to the Pavis book.  What's he doing riding a horse (albeit skeletal)
> and leading Pol-Joni in Dragon Pass?

Although Jaldon must have essentially founded the modern Cult of Waha, he 
has been exiled from the Plains of Prax for some crime, sin or taboo. Can't 
remember what that was, offhand. Remembering that exiled Praxians aren't 
allowed to ride their own tribal animals any more, perhaps a guy thoroughly 
banished from the Way of Waha and Eiritha can't ride *any* Praxian beast. 
Hence the peculiar mount. Just a suggestion... I'd take it further, but 
don't want to be accused of flogging a dead horse. 

The Pol-joni are the Praxians who live nearest to Dragon Pass, so they are 
the ones who can summon Jaldon most easily. (Yes, as nomads go, they seem 
to be pretty constrained in their range, sticking to the Better Place 
around Jaldon's Point). But Jaldon will accompany any Praxian raiding 

What animals do Argrath's Praxian secret societies (Bullocks, Twin Spears 
and Sword Brothers) ride? A pan-tribal mix? Or are they all Horse-riders, 
too, perhaps being banished, rendered unclean, or liberated from prejudice 
through their association with Argrath White Bull?

> While reading the Aeneid I came across a reference to a Horn Gate,
> which Aeneas used to get out of the Underworld.  Any resemblance to
> the Gloranthan Horn Gate?

Turn the Prax map in RQ2 or NG sideways, so the East edge is at the top of 
the page. Then look at the hills and associated place names.

There's a description of Horn Gate oasis in RoC p.45f. which says the old 
gates were ripped down ages ago. But they're probably still there on the 
Spirit Plane if you're HeroQuesting. I can't think of any Gloranthan myth 
offhand that uses Dreams (as HeroQuests and spirit journeys seem to cover 
most of the same territory), but I'd imagine you can do what you like with 
Horn Gate. As long as you don't make it into another Dungeon Complex...

John Medway:

>> Tarshite unit -- as you'd expect, Heartland officers often abbreviate
>> and refer to their Native allies as "'shite troops".

> Are you sure about that 'e'?

Two nations, divided by a common language...

Spelling and pronunciation with an "e" is an acceptable variant in the 
Queen's English (though I can't recall her ever speaking that particular 
word at our frequent tea-parties), used for emphasis or assonance.

> Can Dragonewts & Co. call for Divine Intervention?

I hope not: they hardly seem to need it!

Mark Sullivan noticed that:

> Sun County, which I just picked up, states on page 45:

> "Templar units are organized into 64-man units called
> 'squares' or 'sixty-fours' like the Lunar armies."

> This quote implies that the Lunar Army uses 64 man units.
> Is there any particular reason to create a different model
> for the Lunar Army?

Yup: sheer joi de vivre! Variety is the spice of Gloranthan life. Also, 
you'll find a different organisational model in the "Cradle" scenario in 
Pavis; since neither this nor the Sun County one is deeply attractive, I 
feel no compunction about broadcasting my own. Use whatever you want.

> If the Sun County Templar organization is typical of traditional
> Yelmic military i.e. Dara Happan organization, perhaps the Lunar
> Army (with its Dara Happan influence) has this same organization.
> The military mind is typically very traditional and its hard to
> see a change in the army structure just to get a seven in the TOE.

I'm not so sure. The Dara Happans use tens, I feel certain. If this can be 
changed to eights-to-sixteens by the Sun Domers, as you point out, I don't 
see why the Lunars shouldn't whittle it down to sevens. You'd get the same 
increase/decrease in flexibility as between real world hoplites, hypaspists 
and legionaries, with the Lunar Army having the most "flexible" units.

I enjoyed your thoughts on the corrupt Sable Sultan of Kostaddi, oppressing 
both his peoples; very good for local colour and politics. You said

> All this is merely speculation on my part and has no imprimatur.

-- Join the club!

Jim Rogers asked:

> GoG states that only a few cults give Lords the 1d10 Divine Intervention
> ... I can't see the rhyme or reason for this ... Do you GM with this, or
> change?

I'm still a closet believer in rolling 1D10 for DI for almost anyone who's 
in God's good books, including all Rune Priests and Lords. Or maybe 1D10 
for Lords, 1D20 for Priests? Or rolling D100 against the POW + RunePower 
pool of any Priest? ... etc. As it's a while since I GM'd, and I tend to be 
harsh and sarcastic when those "mechanical" calls for DI come up (if it's 
not heroic, you can just put the dice back down...), I've not needed to 
come up with a definite fix for this.

Like Jim, I imagine, I started playing RuneQuest under RQ2, and my view of 
Glorantha is consequently slanted -- I *believe* that the current rules are 
downplaying the amount of DI available to Priests as compared to Lords and 

Though I was very happy with a suggestion posted here quite a long time ago 
that Divine Intervention rolls be made on D100 (or maybe a D10?) against 
your number of years in the cult (perhaps to a maximum chance of POW, or 
*perhaps* losing points of POW proportionate to the success of the roll). 
This rewards elderly retainer types at the expense of newly-joined sprogs.  
A successful roll would also eat up years in "credit" equal to the roll 
made -- meaning you could make DI far more commonly available, as the 
mechanics of it would make appeals rare in any case, and repeated successes 
unlikely. POW gain chances may come and go, but you'll only notch up a 
year's cult experience once a year...

I'll try throwing that one back out to the world at large...

Malkioni stuff:

Just came across this in Cults of Prax:

: [Daka Fal, p.14]
: Other distant lands (such as Seshneg in the Dawn Ages) developed this
: form of worship [i.e: Ancestor Worship] until they made their ancestors
: surpass the mighty gods in power, or else reduced the immortals into
: mere superhuman heroes or multi-national ancestors. Such developments
: are outside the immediate scope of this book...

That's pretty interesting, sez Nick. Loads of implications.



From: (David Dunham  , via RadioMail)
Subject: Rune Lords; Pol-Joni; Block
Message-ID: <>
Date: 22 Nov 93 20:09:27 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2399

>From: (Jim Rogers)
>GoG states that only a few cults give Lords the
>1d10 Divine Intervention - Humakt, Kyger Litor, Orlanth, Seven Mothers,
>Uleria [why do they have Lords?], Yelm, Yemalio, Zorak Zoran.  I can't see
>the rhyme or reason for this, and is a change from all cults advantage to
>Lords in RQ2.  Any explanations?  Justifications?

Most cults don't have Rune Lords any more.

Uleria probably has skill-based priestesses because there's not a wide
variety of rune magic they'd need to have instead? And because the
Courtesan skill can be used for more than 15 minutes at a time...

>The tribal map of
>Sartar in Issue # 6, despite the cryptic "missing tribe"

Greg says the "missing tribe" is the Pol-Joni.

From: (Mark Sullivan -- Michigan Library Consortium)
>  The Block
>  This giant rectilinear block of rock, 500m on a side and 2km tall...

Thanks, Mark! Mt Rainier is about 4.4 km tall, and I could barely see that
from Othello. So the Block is probably not visible from anywhere it'd be
obscured by mountains (i.e. most of Sartar).


Subject: unsubscribe
Message-ID: <>
Date: 22 Nov 93 23:28:10 GMT
X-RQ-ID: 2401